“Child rearing and career pursuit is the perfect timing.”
It has often been said that having children will change your lives forever. That is very fitting with my reality. The joy is that it changes for the better. That is really the time when you can have it all. So why do so many women fall short of continuing to pursue their dreams once they have hit motherhood?
Motherhood and homeschooling my sons has provided me with these top 8 rewards:
- I Get To Be My Children’s Biggest Role Model.
I sat there not knowing whether to laugh or cry, in an undertone that only could be heard by my lips. Making every effort to refrain from speaking out loud, the conversation with myself began. Where on earth did he get this attitude from? He appeared so serene.
O.K. Rashida, the conversation needs to happen, not a lecture, but a talk. As I mustered up the courage for what Mr. Smart Alec might declare next.
I made my son’s favorite, hot chocolate, and joined him on the couch for a chat. What happened next literally rocked my world.
This mirrors precisely the way it went: “So Antares, why do you think it is O.K. to add your science project to your to do list?”
He gave me one of those “You have got to be kidding me” looks. His response sent shocking waves of astonishment through my black top hat.
I don’t think that I was prepared, or could have been prepared, for what my ears would hear next. My ten year old looked me dead in my eyes and said, “What is the big deal about me adding my science project to my list, didn’t you add your research paper to your to do list during your last class, and didn’t complete it until your teacher sent you a reminder? Well, Mommy Tree Frog, thanks for the hot chocolate, and now that you have reminded me, I guess I will complete my project now.“
This was an aha moment that really hit home. There I was holding my son accountable when all along I myself had not been accountable, and not only did he call me out on it, the profound message I got from that was, “watching you, Mom.” And with that message came the lesson of, “Mom, I am not going to do what you tell me to do, but what I see you do.”
At this juncture in my life, I am happy and fulfilled. Raising my sons’ while I pursue my career has never been better. My oldest son had a horrible kindergarten teacher; that, amongst other unpleasant experiences with the school system, was the key factor in my husband and I deciding that homeschool was best.
There is always that one bad apple in the bunch, although in this case it was a few!
It has been quite a riveting experience to take this path together as my son is on his journey of academic pursuit, and I too continue to pursue my career as a writer and actress, as well as my Master’s degree. What better time to be on a journey as mother and son, than this precious time that will be treasured for years to come.
I love to dote on my boys, but being afforded the opportunity and honor to work side by side with my ten year old while chasing my 9 month old around, and to be able to demonstrate a strong work ethic and be a present role model, leaves nothing more to desire.
- Success Playdate
Together we are able to work really hard and commit to the challenges that present themselves; but what is even better is that a celebratory night at the restaurant is not only about dad getting a promotion, or me getting another piece of work accepted for publication, but our son also celebrating his honor roll. And our youngest achieving yet another milestone. These precious gifts makes for a fun playdate that involves the entire family.
- We Fail and Succeed Together.
My consciousness is still trying to keep up with the reality that I have 2 children’s books that was accepted for publication. One scheduled for publication and the other in production. My husband said, “You are one determined cookie.” The thing is that I did not allow the rejection letters to discourage me; in fact I found them rather motivating. The belief in myself and my manuscript was only the start, but the energy and joy of sharing this journey with my sons is really what kept me submitting those manuscripts until someone said yes.
I know my oldest is watching me, and I don’t recall the last time I saw him crumble when a math problem was too difficult. Even during his recreation time, he keeps pursuing that next level on his game or his Legos, no matter how many times he gets smacked down.
Not to mention how progressive it is to observe my son during the end of the academic quarter, as he no longer panics. Adequate preparation and past shortcomings have prepared us for that eventuality. Similarly, he said recently, “Mom, you no longer get nervous about meeting your deadlines, or opening a response from a publisher.”
And it was funny, because together we yelled, “Why? TIME MANAGEMENT, HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION ROCKS!”
The neighbor probably thought we were going crazy!
- Everybody Wins
It often breaks my heart when I hear women say “I wanted to have a career in this field but I was unable to because I had kids and so that took care of that.”
This is a subjective experience, with that being said, if it is a desire to have a career, then go for it! My experience is that children are not a hindrance, but a great addition to your journey and experience.
It is certainly a fuzzy feeling when we all get together for our nightly family huddle. Everyone at the table has something valuable to share. In addition to the wonderful job of being a mom and a wife, I get to sit there and share in the joy of my husband’s day at work, my son talks about his day, my nine month old squeals in delight and I am thrilled when the floor is mine. There is something other than the laundry and dishes to talk about.
Slow down a second, I know you are saying, “She did not just say that! I did!”
Being a stay at home mom and wife is a highly rewarding job. We stay at home moms do not get enough credit, period! But let’s face it, whether you stay at home or you work outside of the home, the dishes could not care less, they must be done. So yeah, it is nice to have something else to talk about than the stinking dishes.
Of course, this is a personal choice. What is right for me may not be what is right for you, and vice-versa.
The important thing is to be honest and happy in your choice, and your kids will be too.
- We Keep Each Other Honest.
I would say, “Fine.”, when in fact I had a miserable day, cried my way home after having lunch with him, and watching him walk off in the line on the way back to hell’s pit.
Or those moments when I really should be crunching to meet a deadline but I say yes to the idea of a night out courtesy of my husband.
I love it, because my ten-year-old is the first to yell out, “We can’t tonight Daddy, Mommy still has to finish her project.”
And in case you are wondering if there is there a down side to being on this journey with my little grown man…
YES, YOU CANNOT GET AWAY WITH WHITE LIES!
He has ears like antennae, and my husband will walk through the door and say, “How was your day?” And my favorite response, “Fine….”
The walls’ ears will bleed from my son screaming, “NO SHE’S NOT!”
Is that really a bad thing? I think not; it is wonderful that I too am blessed to share in his day and his experience. Too many children have bad days at school and sometimes their response to “How are you?” is simply-“Fine!”
Hence, this is one of my most treasured rewards as a mom on this journey with my sons yet.
- The Weekends Are Awesome, Monday Morning is Even Better.
I have stayed at home with my oldest since he was born. Once he became of school age, my hate of what I like to call “The Big M” got even worse. Seriously what’s to love?
Watching my little prince whisk off to school and my husband off to work. This is still the case today, with one key difference; on Monday mornings the entire family is happy.
Why? Well why not? We are all starting the week off doing what we love. There is no greater joy that I have found in life than to be able to do what I love with transparency, authenticity, and passion. To be able to share in that with my kids is an experience I relish.
As humans we are all vulnerable. The biggest thing for me is to share my vulnerabilities with my children through strength.
If we have a bad day on a Monday, we might cry for one minute, but we laugh for an hour.
It is without variation I continue to develop myself and explore new territories, and being able to homeschool my son while I pursue a career is a fun ride with endless possibilities. I always joke with him that he will one day have to attend career day, and in the unlikely event I stop loving what I’m doing, we will attend as prospective candidates.
The beautiful ending is yet to be written, but we are taking notes along the way, and in the end we get to say we made it, and we did it together!